Racing in Round 7 was fast and physical, 16 drivers battled it out at Brands Hatch over the 100km, 28 lap race. The key to a good finish was patience and smooth driving. The sweeping corners, and constant elevation changes, and narrow track surface put drivers to the test. It’s said every series needs a “Bulls in a China Shop” venue, and that is exactly what the race at Brands Hatch was.

Black Adder Motorsport‘s (BAM) Christian Challiner once again took pole with an unmatched Qualifying time of 1:24.474.   The race started off clean and fierce with Team Buschfink Racing‘s (TBR) Mika Eshuis getting a jump at the start and capturing second though paddock hill bend. Once the trucks hit Graham Hill Bend, trouble started brewing. James King (TBR) had technical issues, which put the #23 back in the garage, and as the trucks rounded Sheene Curve, a few drivers ran wide off track pushing the tires too hard before coming up to temp. Sadly the #916  of Tony Higbee spins sideways in the middle of traffic. Thanks to some quick reactions by Higbee and Brandon Thrasher, contact was avoided, but the first caution was flown.

As the race progressed, drivers began to get into a rhythm, as the longest stretch of green flag racing took place lap 17 to lap 23. Mika Eshuis pitted under the 4th caution on Lap 15 used the time to charge through the field. By the time he made his way to 5th passing Clifton Cockrell on lap 21, the top 4 drivers (Christian Challiner (BAM), Karl Martin, Justin Kruithof (JKR), and  Brian Howard) had put a substantial gap on the rest of the field.

As luck would have it, Cedric Finsac of Lempls Racing (LR) and Brandon Thrasher collide for a second time on Lap 23. This would bring out the 5th and final caution of the race.

When the green flag dropped on Lap 27, Eshuis makes an aggressive outside pass around Howard through Paddock Hill Bend, and starts to fiercely apply pressure to Kruithof in an attempt to capture a podium. However a bobble through Graham Hill Bend on the final lap kept him from gaining the opportunity to pass Kruithof. We saw plenty of hard racing as the race drew to a close. King who had hardware troubles early on was able to make a final pass on Justin Davis, taking 9th place, and Martin Kapal (LR) and Cockrell provided an explosive finish as Cockrell (pictured right) literally flew across the finish line taking 6th place after starting 15th.

Christian Challiner once again dominated the race leading from start to finish, bringing in the race maximum of 40 points. Karl Martin put on a solid performance after a month long absence, finishing 2nd. Justin Kruithof found the speed and the focus to hold off Mika Eshuis for 3rd. Road again dominates Oval, and extends their lead in the Road vs Oval Championship.

As we head to Donington Park this weekend for Round 8, all eyes will be on the battles for 3rd and 5th in the Driver’s Championship. We look forward to seeing you there.

Photo Credit: Mika Eshuis Photography